September 18, 2018
Mountain View Community Center
3607 122nd Ave E.
Edgewood, WA 98372
Preventable Falls Among Seniors Reach Epidemic Proportions
Falls: The Avoidable Epidemic
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. Too often seniors dismiss a fall as a simple trip, a little accident, or just a normal part of life. However, falls are not just little accidents and falling is not an inevitable result of aging. They have dramatic consequences. Falls are preventable. Learn about the consequences of falling and what you, a spouse or a loved one can do to avoid falls and those nasty consequences.
Call them what you will – trips, accidents, tumbles, oopsies – falls among older adults are a huge problem. Deaths from falls in Washington state have more than doubled in the last 15 years. Falls are not a normal part of aging and most falls are entirely preventable. To be sure, trip hazards are all around us. But that does not mean that falling is inevitable.
September is Falls Prevention Month. Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources, in conjunction with the Pierce County Fall Prevention Coalition, will host “Falls: The Avoidable Epidemic,” a special workshop that will focus on the problem of falls and the many things that can help reduce falls in the home and in the community. Presentations will be held four times in September:
- Sept 10 – 12:10 p.m. at the Pierce County Annex Main Meeting Rm., 2401 S. 35th St., Tacoma;
- Sept 11 – 10:15 a.m. at the Spana-Park Senior Center, 325 152nd St. E., Tacoma;
- Sept 13 – 11 a.m. Pt. Defiance~Ruston Senior Center, 4716 N. Baltimore, Tacoma;
- Sept 18 – 1 p.m. at Mountain View Community Center, 3607 122nd Ave E., Edgewood.
One in three older adults in Washington State falls each year. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head injuries, and can increase the risk of early death. They have become a major public health problem. The cost of health care and rehabilitation can be financially debilitating for an individual, as well as the extended family. Rather than attributing falling to age, a more appropriate examination will look at physical fitness, medications, physical fitness and environmental and behavioral hazards.
“Many older adults, particularly those 70 and older, are quick to dismiss falls as simply a part of aging,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. “That is a myth that ignores underlying issues. Even simple trips can begin a downward spiral of health that leads to serious complications. We hope every senior, every adult child concerned about their aging parents and every caregiver will pay special attention to this issue and take heed before a serious fall.”
Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources and the Pierce County Fall Prevention Coalition have worked together to provide resources, tools and events that help seniors assess their fall risk and connect to evidence-based falls prevention programs and community partnerships to reduce the danger of falling and enhance their quality of life.
Sessions are information only. Each event is free and open to the public. Anyone of any age can attend. No RSVP is required. For more information about the presentations, call the Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332.